To check China’s illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific region, the Quadrilateral Security (Quad) has planned to launch a satellite-based maritime security initiative, in which Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) will play an important role.
The communist nation is allegedly responsible for 95% of the illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific.
Ahead of the Quad Dialogue on May 24, the top leaders of the four nations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, newly elected Australian PM Anthony Albanese and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, will hold talks with an aim to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, The Financial Times reported.
Quoting a US official, the Financial Times reported that the initiative, to be announced by the four leaders of the Quad at the group’s Tokyo Summit, will bring together existing surveillance centres in Singapore, India, and the Pacific to create a tracking system for illegal unregulated and unreported fishing (IUUF) in the Indo-Pacific region.
The official said that the US and its partners can now monitor illegal fishing even when fishing boats have turned off the transponders which are used to track maritime vessels.
PM Narendra Modi arrived in Tokyo on Monday.
From Sierra Leone to Somalia, Peru to Argentina or Palau to Micronesia, Chinese fishing trawlers are everywhere and affect the livelihoods of the citizens of these nations for whom fishing is the primary source for food as well as income.
A paper titled ‘Sink or Swim: The Future of Fisheries in the East and the South China Sea’ by the International Forum For Right And Security (IFFRAS) pointed out China was the worst offender in the 2021 IUU Fishing Index.
ALSO READ | Modi in Japan LIVE Updates HERE
The IUU Fishing Index maps illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in 152 coastal countries and found that Chinese illegal fishing trawlers were the biggest perpetrators.
The paper said that the menace of Chinese illegal fishing can be seen in the Pacific, South America and Western Africa.
HOW THE CENTRE WILL HELP
The IFC-IOR was established by the Government of India at Gurugram on December 22, 2018 to further maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The centre aims at strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture and acting as a maritime security information sharing hub for the region, states the website.
Since its inception, the centre has established working level linkages with more than 50 nations and multinational/ maritime security centres.
1st International Liaison Officer (ILO) from Mauritius inducted in presence of HE Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, High Commissioner of Mauritius to India.
ILOs bring with them regional expertise that enhances collective understanding of overall MARSEC situation.@indiannavy @HCI_PortLouis pic.twitter.com/124gyXPN2d
— IFC-IOR (@IFC_IOR) February 10, 2022
In addition to a website, the exchange of information is being undertaken by various means, including physical interactions, telephone, fax, email and video-conferencing.
To enable better correlation, compressed information cycles and timely inputs, the centre also hosts International Liaison Officers (ILOs) from partner nations.
The centre has hosted ILOs from 10 partner nations — Australia, France, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles Singapore, United Kingdom and United States of America. More ILOs are expected to join the endeavour.
#IOR Weather-Jun 22#ArabianSea Most disturbances originate b/n 10-15 N & move NW.#BayofBengal weather systems form b/n 10-15 N, less likely to intensify into Cyclonic storm.
SE Asia – SW monsoon over southern South China Sea begins end May.https://t.co/TMNoOjwCsz@indiannavy pic.twitter.com/M19VKk33uu
— IFC-IOR (@IFC_IOR) May 20, 2022
A combined team of Indian Naval personnel and ILOs, duly assisted by civilian MDA Analysts monitors the Indian Ocean and adjoining seas for developing maritime domain understanding by studying the pattern of life in each region. The team also produces various publications such as Monthly Maritime Security Update (MMSU), Half Yearly Overview and Annual Report, states the website.
These publications act as a comprehensive source of information on varied maritime issues including maritime piracy, armed robbery, contraband smuggling, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, Irregular Human Migration (IHM) and other maritime threats (non-piracy).
Additionally, monthly weather forecasts and weather warnings, specific studies/reports are also published by the centre.
With ANI inputs